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I decided to join the fire department a year and half ago as a way to aid the community in which Ive lived all my life Firefighting has always been an interest of mine It was something I dreamed of doing as a child When I began to realize my dream I had no idea of the obstacles and challenges that I would face the things I would witness and the change it would have on me as a person After being voted into the department I entered what is called a probie period which is a year of probation that all rookie firemen must go through During this time I took many courses ranging from water rescue CPR certification hazardous material and extrication training In addition to these concentrations I had to clean the firehouse make beds wash the trucks do the dishes and roll hose I did this without complaint because I knew it was part of the learning process in becoming a firefighter All the firefighters were very supportive of me watched over me and helped teach me the skills necessary to become a firefighter The first call I responded to was a signal 50 which means fire I slid down the fire pole threw on my turnout gear which consisted of my coat boots hat and pants I jumped in the truck feeling an overwhelming sense of nervousness and excitement I can still remember my captain telling me hit the horn and siren as we went thorough busy downtown Mystic I was imaging a house engulfed in flames As we arrived at the scene to my surprise a brush fire caused by the disposal of coal from a fireplace was the only thing I encountered that day Since that day though I have come upon many high stress situations involving fatal car crashes search and rescue and structure fires My first fire occurred in a two
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